Allan G. Aquino: “area codes 213, 310, 323, 626, and 818”
Hip Hop Poetry
area codes 213, 310, 323, 626, and 818
one, a half-pinoy vato loco, managed his
issues with a mossberg loaded with
pitbull slugs: he learned how to
perforate a brown body before
he could make love to one.
he claims he’s still down.
another became a big, bad porkchop
beating down his nephew’s homies,
wasting nary a thought when they
got thrown back to the joint
where they were fucked
in every way for life.
another marched for the revolution, and
when it didn’t work out he jumped on
that one. then after that breakup,
he’s sticking it out with this one,
riding it out till his kids grow
old enough to leave him.
and yet another crossed country via
trailer, scored a gig, and, with his
tier-1 graduate degree, teaches
composition to midwestern
racists who, to his face,
call him a monkey.
and i became a poet so i could
escape dogmas: thus, i carry,
always, like pails of murky
well water, the heaviness
of memory, the burden
well into the next decade
we might converge to
assess all we’ve been.
we will hail from different zones.
scars will prove our histories.
one of us might say,
‘i fucked up – that’s just how
i do.’ another, ‘whatever
i did, i meant
well.’ and i’ll likely say little:
listening, speechless with
fascination, terror, or
boredom. and maybe i’ll write about
all this down the line, encoding
worlds and feelings, showing
everything by telling
almost nothing: a
day in the life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allan G. Aquino - Chicago-born and LA-raised, proudly - is a poet and professor of Asian American Studies at Cal State, Northridge. He has been writing prolifically since 1992, echoing the vintage lyricism of his Filipino American forebears. His poems represent an emotional substance defying a culture that emasculates and dehumanizes Asian/Pacific men. "Evoke a speechless kiss," he believes; and, in the words of maestro NVM Gonzalez: "All you have to is see."
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